What is Serverless App Development & How to Build One for your Business?


Serverless computing comes as a relief for developers as it enables them to shed the burden of server infrastructure. However, there are areas where a number of servers and fixed bandwidth is required to handle computing tasks. With Serverless, developers get the opportunity to deploy and iterate new code and build apps without provisioning or maintaining servers. Businesses can purchase backend services on a ‘pay-as-you-go’ basis, which allows them to pay only for the services and resources they use. This model enables small businesses with restricted budgets to do things that only big enterprises could do before.

Understanding Serverless Computing

Serverless model runs code in a stateless server through a variety of events such as HTTP requests, queuing services, database events, monitoring alerts, etc. It offloads the need for infrastructure management tasks such as:

  • Provisioning a server
  • Scaling the infrastructure
  • Maintaining server uptime
  • Patching and scheduling the tasks

Apparently, this gives freedom to developers, teams, and resources to focus on innovating ideas and concepts that help organizations to compete in the digital landscape. Every business – big or small wants to run their app at scale and that’s why serverless is gaining a lot of popularity.

Does Serverless actually means “Serverless”?

In a serverless computing model, servers do exist but in a stateless manner. All backend services are provided by the servers only and the server management is done by a service provider such as Microsoft Azure, AWS, IBM Cloud, Salesforce, Oracle, etc. In application development, backend services are computing efforts that users do not see such as the servers that store application databases and files. These application databases store information about business logic and user data.  The journey of serverless computing has gone from the leading edge to the mainstream as developers have found new ways to deploy and release applications efficiently and cost-effectively.

AWS Lambda is one notable example of serverless computing. In AWS Lambda, the codes are executed in the form of Lambda functions; therefore, the serverless app development model is typically known as Function as a Service (FaaS). Lambda scales automatically and runs the function when required – from few requests per day varying to thousands per second. When your code is not running, you don’t have to pay anything since you are not consuming resources or the computing time.

What is FaaS?

FaaS is a compute theory vital to serverless, where the codes run in response to events. Serverless can also be defined as FaaS in combination with other cloud resources such as storage, networks, and databases, where management, configuration, and service packages are invisible to the users. Serverless approach relies on functions, where developers usually break down an application into tiny, stateless chunks and executes it further without context to underlying servers. Though serverless and Function-as-a-Service are quite conflated, FaaS is often considered as a subset of serverless computing. Functions are executed in response to the triggered events from other services. Developers can call the function in the execution environment to provide an isolated runtime environment.

Why Build a Serverless Application?

As mentioned above, one of the significant benefits of building serverless application is that the developers can build and deploy applications using cost-efficient services with flexible scaling capabilities. Also they do not have to worry about provision, configuration, and management of servers.

Let’s discuss several other benefits of Serverless Computing.

  • Lower Cost for Running a Server

On implementing serverless computing, the server processes no longer control the application development. When an application process executes actively and successfully, usage is billed. Serverless computing is cost-effective, as the user only pays for the services and resources consumed. You do not have to pay for idle capacity and this reduces the costs for running a server.

  • Faster Turnaround, Simplified, Scalability

Serverless environment allows you to eliminate the operational overhead so that the developers can release applications rapidly. In addition, businesses can get quick feedback and iterate faster to accelerate the time to market. In this model, developers do not have to worry about the policies to scale up their code as the environment scales automatically.

  • Streamlined Backend Code

Using FaaS, developers can create simple functions that can execute a single purpose such as making an API call. Back-end, in general, has become a traditional term as serverless app development allows the client apps to access the resources directly.

What is Required to Build Serverless Application on AWS?

You can build a Serverless web app by utilizing multiple services from the Cloud provider altogether. These services are self-managed and you will not require managing or provisioning servers. All you need to do is configure the services together and upload your code to the Cloud. To build a Serverless application, the development team must possess a good understanding of the technical aspects mentioned below:

  • Cloud computing and IP networking concepts for private and public networks.
  • Linux operating system, commands, and concepts including threads, processes, and file permissions.
  • Expertise in security concepts and services such as Identity and Access Management.
  • Hands-on experience with the services that interact with Cloud such as Amazon S3, Amazon API Gateway, DynamoDB, and Amazon SQS (Simple Queue Service).
  • Hands-on experience of developing functions using AWS Lambda.

Qualtech Consultants, with strong domain expertise and coding experience, delivers Serverless App Development services to large enterprises, small and medium organizations as well as startups.

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